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Man takes at least one person hostage in Pittsburgh office building

Police had been communicating with the man via Facebook, but the page is said to have been shut down.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper, third from left, briefs media outside the 3 Gateway Center building, rear center, in downtown Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper, third from left, briefs media outside the 3 Gateway Center building, rear center, in downtown Pittsburgh
Image: Gene J. Puskar/AP/Press Association Images

A MAN CLAIMING to have a bomb in a canvas bag took at least one person hostage today in an office building in the US city of Pittsburgh, authorities said.

“There’s a hostage situation at Three Gateway Center,” said Kelly Kochamba, an FBI spokeswoman, naming the building in a downtown office complex.

There’s at least one woman, I don’t know if there’s any more than one.

The assailant claimed to have a bomb, “but there is no evidence at this time,” Kochamba said.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper, meanwhile, told reporters at the scene that a man with a criminal record was holding two people on the sixteenth floor of the highrise.

The man has a criminal record but is “not irrational,” he said.

“I wish I could say I’m very confident but it’s up to the individual and right now we don’t know,” he said, adding that no demands have been made and that “no one knows what he wants.”

The alleged hostage-taker’s mother was called to the scene to help resolve the situation, according to CNN.

Pittsburgh is the capital of Pennsylvania, a state on the east coast of the United States.

The Associated Press says that Facebook has shut down the profile page of a 22-year-old who police say took the hostage, about five hours after he entered a 16th floor office at Three Gateway Center.

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